If you believe your computer has a virus, it is very important that you take action straight away. There are a number of things that you can do through the operating system to find out whether or not you have a virus. However, these are quite advanced things are require a significant amount of computer knowledge. It is best left, in other words, to the professionals. If you have the best internet security installed on your computer, you should not have been infected in the first place. However, if something did slip through, you must make sure you learn how to protect yourself.
Are You Infected?
Even the best internet security and virus scanner program cannot find them all. This is because the world of viruses is a cat and mouse game, with new viruses being developed and new protections being created in response. One of the things to look out for is whether your computer suddenly slows down and takes a long time to boot up. Similarly, if it suddenly starts to crash, if you get strange messages, if your homepage on your browser has suddenly change and if your cursors starts jumping around on your screen, you may have a virus.
Why Do Viruses Exist?
- Hackers want to slow your computer down and then send a message to your computer saying you have a virus. Another message then appears saying that they can remove it for you, but it will cost you a lot of money. Most of the time, you are simply left out of pocket and the virus remains.
- A hacker wants to get remote access to your computer. In most cases, this is so that they can gather personal information from you, which can then be used for identity theft.
- A hacker wants to shut down a large system, by creating a virus that sends itself to many other computer systems and networks. Some of this is done as part of cyber terrorism, whereby the goal is to disable certain organizations. It is also possible for hackers to do this simply because they can, and they want to have the fame.
You May Be Infected, Now What?
There are a number of free virus scans available online that are of very high quality. If you still have internet access, then running one of these should be a first start. But you have to be very careful that it actually comes from a reputable website, or you may make the situation worse. If your computer doesn’t start, a reboot may be needed and you may have to start your computer in Safe Mode to try and find out what is going on. Alternatively, you may have to completely reinstall your operating system. Unfortunately, this may mean losing some files and settings, but it is also like getting a fresh start.
Don’t try to fix your computer yourself unless you have specialized knowledge. Always ask the professionals, be they a computer repair shop or a good quality virus scanner, to do the work for you.